Archives for posts with tag: Fleeting Pixel

Constancy! Isn’t that the queer thought?
— Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

To find oneself again in a place one once knew | and gather up again the powder of sensations | blown by the breeze hither and thither | mostly | thither | The evening light on the Englischer Hof | a warm dusk orange chilled with deepening greys | and characters in novels, with their manicured tales | details | that arrest the reader’s eyes | Martingales, Chiffney bits, boots | the magical | conundrum of narrators and points of view… | In the airport, unable to concentrate | putting the book aside | and, though ill, typically | English of the old school | not one to make a scene | To revive, in other words, the lost | passage of a life | to blow the dust back into flesh, the flesh | back into want, and heat, and time | and all the other things we have no charge of | The sex that night was great, but not the sex with you | that was just the same | as always | tender but a little wearisome | a loving chore | like winding an old-fashioned clock | that could never keep good time… | Sitting on the edge of the bed | smoking | listening to the exuberant melee of mopeds in the Vietnamese night | with nothing so cumbersome as a right or wrong | feeling I belonged there | precisely where I did not belong


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2015)

It means “to love for the very last time” | Air in between the fingers | The slower moving of two flying birds | a ploughed field below them | soil a dry grey | the sky | Heights, everywhere — insoluble heights, and a little trouble | mixed in with them, nothing | to worry about | “Sure, fine”, we say | “Yeah, not bad, not bad” | “Good” | “Yeah, okay. Fine. Good” | An eternity for the phone to ring, the train to come | Handles fallen off the wind, birch trees, words like “sorry” or “long”… Can’t pick up | the Earth, no need to, anyway | In each moment, a subtle crisis, when will these feelings end? | A precipice in crumbs | in apple pips | A little more to the left | Maybe a little more | to that side?

Heights, everywhere — insoluble, and a little | heaven mixed in with them | Is it like an appendix, a gripe | from an earlier skull and monkey | a calling card from Eros, chevaliers, an age of sonnets and Zeppelin? | Could read | Montesquieu, maybe, or Montaigne? — the evening has its autumn feel | Camus too recent, too clunky | Not “seeing angels”, as the French say, but | lifting the Earth, like anyone else, then leave it off in sleep | lift again | haul a few steps | in this, or that, direction | And in the dawn, a little sunset, always a little sunset | in everything | and in the sunset | a little heaven | two birds, of different species | one, the slower, a crow, but both | flying the same way | across a wide, ploughed field | grey under the clear, cool, blue sky | one moving more slowly, but not | being left behind


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2013)

I was always thinking | “What will it be like afterwards?” | But there was no afterwards || I thought it would be very still | as they say the floor of the ocean is still | no matter what storms are blowing across the surface | but I don’t know | and never will

The day, entire in its beauty, faithful as it always is | refusing nothing | demanding nothing | engulfed him | and wrapped him in vanishing | and then we were left | poised with loss | and enigmatic in a common way | holding all the pieces of our incompletion | gazing out over the landscape | everything hidden as the thoughts | passing behind the eyes | of perfect strangers in photographs


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2012)

For autumn, and my father

And in the dew season, I’d walk across the hills | among the wild chrysanthemums | My father | across the bandwidth | and through the satellites | Stags | with their heads lowered to the grasses | A country round | I live in the squares and the lines | violets, lilacs, sodiums, blacks | the rush of the push and the shove and the savings | double shots / banged-down shot glasses | tube trains leaving | the stations | with their passengers | sieving down stairwells and escalators | and frankly it is | lonely in the city | My father | I walked out on the ice of an inlet | of the Yellow Sea | and in a disused sanatorium | watched the clouds cross the border | over the barbed wire and the yawning sentries | Recruits | to different orders | volunteers | you a recruit | but me | a perennial | draft dodger | stuffed in the back of cabs or flats | a life lived on the run | in an age of conformity | of willing participants | in paid pleasure | loyal to the pressure of the next satisfaction | a stone in your shoe | a consonant | when there should have been a vowel | my days a futile | aimless rage | far from the squirrels and the wet lawn | with the ring of orange needles | shed from the landmark larch | a spree of saints | a grime monk | an espionage | My father | with the broken | spine of the message | the dominoes and velvet | the personal | the lost | the private | how did we | get here? | Say what they will, they don’t know | they were never you | they were never me | And after the war, my father | in the ruins of the bombed-out | city | orphans would shelter | and in the winter | freeze and starve | to death | Recruits to | different orders | Let’s step on | as we always do | call me | your son | and I will be here | for a while, at least | while the gawpers | and the talkers | and the gawkers and the stalkers | the mawkish and the squawkers | busy themselves | in the latest fashions | we’ll put one star | next to the new star | put our Tuesdays in line | and you will sleep easy | and I will sleep uneasily | while the boys run | like buffalo or caribou | into their clouded masses | and powerless fools | dreaming of power | stir in the morning with their waking guns

Belonging, not belonging | A yearning for solidarity, but not enmity | I met up with Tony and Frank | they knew a guy | and though I was tired | I wanted a good time | so there was hooking up and getting up | and hours of clubbing | and I never | got home that night | Squeezing in | utopia in milligrams | my busy diary | full as could be | And we met a guy who knew a girl | met a guy | met a guy | Woke up | watching a film | a beautiful young assassin | snapping clip to Glock | with a girl | and a guy | and some other girls | and you | and some dead guys | Want to | buy my way out of here | but can’t | lay my hands on the funds | Slept late | like all day | and then there were deals | there always | needs to be deals | and then Tony and Frank | and Kat and Millie | and some other guy | and one of those | sixties’ American cars | a barge of chrome and petroleum | and there was | lime juice in my hair | and a scent of sugar, and violets | and a highway | north, along the coast, in California | and of course, overhead, there were the clouds | great, white clouds | grandiose steamers | and guards at the gates | and luxury and ease | on the other side | of the dream and the razorwire | and the techno | just devolved | into some thudding noise | and I saw Millie with Tony | and Frank | I couldn’t see Kat | and Frank again | with some other guys | and a kind of surprise | glimpsed myself in a mirror | with my father | and Frank and Tony | and some other guys | and some dead guys


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2015)

Hunters | bring in the dead things to show us | pelts of velvet brown partly | stripped off | smooth | pinks and crimsons | They show us their knives | to open the sloppy | jewel boxes for take-aways | to stews and broths | We say we wanted | living things | How true is that? | Not wholly true | We cannot | account for these | hungers, we found them | inside us, we cannot | escape them, either, no matter how we | run, and run… | Hunters…

Thoughts like gas drift through the room | They make us torpid | I have this feeling… | I want to go outside | and run and run | Find some altitude | some place away | from you and invites and porcelain | We drag in | lolling carcases | of stars | the heads of state | The clubs are full | the streets are buzzing | the city juggles pulses | I say | I want to die | but there is mist in the morning | a fresh | calm | clear and pure as the light | in a young boy’s eyes, a light | he doesn’t know | is living there, and I | am hungry…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2013)

Fugitive colours | How autumn stole the sun and | roughly | a quarter of your life, lie | still against me | Tame the heat, and trail dead | tigers by their tails, a story of | poverty overcome | maraschino | cherry red in a steel town | but later | banish the personal | the forest | breathes and sings | A detective | novel | and the reader | king and queen of the | castle of sand | Even black, why not | black?

With the onset of winter | the trees are bared | So much a knife | and the cold a blade | stretch over | and kiss me, laugh your | small | snorting laugh and mumble | what sounds like | “Egg Sunday” | Curating a | flame | Trudging over | the frozen surfaces | of mile-wide lakes | a genie | wrapped in a cloth, worn | burlap and moleskin | Measure of old feet | poor boots | the creak of the ice | so many prizes for the plunge, why don’t you | take it? | Naked armies of the sea, far off | ride to a war on land, but you | have the castle | keep of a dry plain | and months to go before | spring sets its green, sweet | traps again…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2013)

Space debris | Camera | sofa | mantel with | grape black tulips | in a white | ceramic milk jug | with sky blue dots | square mirror with | precious images of | us | floating | Can we get to there, or get back | there? | An explosive | stillness | And the fuse of thought | still sparkling | with lit gunpowder | Sealed in | to the heavens’ | moment | Orbit a memory | and beneath us, as always, the rest | the spurious | other | the continental | excess | the long, hard, fertile | splurge of the world | No

Stopped the car outside | the Madonna factory | Statues stacked in yards, wrapped in crates | seconds and rejects | Rather | drowsy after | a taxing drive | Dust | trapped inside the china wombs | goats bleating down cobbled lanes, spilling | across the dying town | I half expected | chunky furred and crowned | figures from the Trecento | to populate my dreams, we’d seen | so many paintings | The vagina | ideally | uncaressed | hymen taut | the way through | unfound | like an America | or a silent moon | though she was late | as the bells | dinged out their sweet calm chimes | herd with echoes of god | inside a porcelain head | she was immaculate | Later | we parked the car off the road | in wild woods | caught by a thoughtless urge | a pinch of flash between | our thumbs and fingers | and fucked awkwardly | climbing the mountain of our little needs | such little needs | to such pure high peaks | of snow above | orgasmic clouds | And later still | much later | after the deaths | the great deaths and the little deaths | now alone | I study the exquisite skeletons | of moments | with their glistening | thistledown bones | drifting unattached | through emptying days | across gardens and courtyards | through offices and malls | on trains | in kitchens | lounges | bedrooms | on stairways | all the time | trying to grow used | to the idea | that what I see I cannot see | not as it really is | structured to its perfect point | I see my life | not space debris


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2015)

Those children, accidentally | given to fire | Flats burned out in Dusseldorf or Croydon | not places | a spellchecker knew | past the alley with communal bins or the pharmacy | the streets covered with firemen’s foam | and the blackened interiors | afloat on local websites | digitally | marooned | Each moment with its key ignition | By the plastic shower curtain | hanging a rippled Miffy | in a lilac slip you had raised your arm | to shave the hair under the pit | my face | in a cabinet mirror | for a moment | a haunted voyeur | handsome but so useless, in the end | while a little way down the road | to mandolins, incense or choirs | people knelt to separate gods | and some prayed for fire

Immigrants | the lovers | mounting each other | looking for those moments of a good life | or striking flints | to infuriate the heavens | wanting to belong | where no one, really, belongs | and sure enough | soon enough | we’re sent back | to a country that will just not | stop burning | Out of the side of your eye | a ladybird climbs fine white net | castaway | agent of this treacherous summer | with its shoals and shallows | its slumps and queues | of the unemployed | its dirty tangled wrack of drifted images | even the young cannot escape | already being ground down | to a particular style of angel | a rare | genus of devil | Softly, very softly | near the end of sound | I remember those tiny slivers of intimacy | that sometimes seem to make | the bulk of life | how the other paths | might bore, or might surprise | but the one I took | took us apart | as gently | as smoke floats | towards sleeping children’s eyes


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2015)

On castaway streets, the little windfall plums beginning to break again | making the pavement at the corner sticky and stained — the pleasure and melancholy of seasonal return | the familiar and ephemeral | my second turn around the island | To the tale of the tormented genius | with feverish finances and the unfortunate habit | of making bad marriages | so quiet in the provinces, one may sit and count the slow, lucid ripples | reaching the edge | of this gentle backwater | elsewhere has become a legend | and her presence, largely, forgotten | Alcohol does not help | but repetition calls one summer from the last | — in this way | knowing happens, because it was, and is again | no more | The fervour of his delirium, the torture of morals | taken seriously | by a person essentially fickle | no wonder it ended badly | In the middle of the mental breakdown, pay at the counter and leave

I’ve noticed, the horse chestnuts are the first to turn | Autumn’s outliers | Gold, silver and bronze on the podium | Not hearing a human voice for the first three days | and then for another three | another fourteen | and twenty three after | and after | … | Ghosts are formed by habit, we don’t notice that we’re dead | taking the books back to the library | Don Quixote and still at page 47 | becoming attached to a name | Old people sifting through the background | prototype phantoms | testing out the rings | somehow | inferno, limbo and paradise | become confused and leak together | to form a single, spiritual mush | My body has gone, gnawed by crabs off Toyama | I suppose the bones last a little longer? | Still keeping the diary, though with less and less to record | or perhaps only the same things | from last year | the windfall plums on the pavement at the corner | staining the flags black | though when they’re freshly fallen | and broken open | their flesh is often a gelid amber | dust sticks in the smeared fruit | Also, I notice how slowly the very frail woman | high on age | moves with her zimmer frame | as if inhabiting a film shot at different speeds | to the rest of us | a string of pearls on her breast | harder than she is | Familiar with repeated scents | with the first heat of spring | the first coolness in September | knowing these phenomena more deeply | and more acutely | with less time left to savour them | On a path at noon, out by the bay, a gory privilege | skin beginning to burn | and among my things | the meaning of life and a bottle of sand | and a cleft in the rock where a genie came out | and said “OBOCAMBABARRA!” | When you’ve used up all the known places, only elsewhere is left


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2016)

I was meant to write | a poem among | the persimmons | in Arashiyama, but | the words never formed, and | I | failed you

Each year | the persimmons flower | and their fruits | fall around the house | of the poet, and among | the ovaloid shadows | they throw across | the ground | no one notices | the many | silences


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, August 2012)